Thursday, June 30, 2005

Sign our Draft Picks

Slim Pickings draft analysis over at

9) Warriors - As you probably know by now, the Warriors drafted Ike Diogu out of Arizona State with the 9th pick. Diogu continues the Warriors' legacy of drafting players from powerhouse college programs (J-Rich, Arenas, Dunleavy), and finally breaks the Warriors' history of duplicating skill sets. Instead of drafting yet another perimeter player, Golden State took one of the leading rebounders in the country, albeit one who stands only 6'8". Of course, if "Moneyball" and the New England Patriots have taught me anything, it's that a guy's performance is the most important thing, not how good he looks doing it. The Warriors needed someone who can rebound and score inside, and they got someone who can rebound and score inside.

He's not an end-all, be-all elite power forward, but that guy wasn't in the draft this year, much less available with the 9th pick. The Warriors weren't exactly presented with a candy lineup to choose from this year. I've talked myself into liking the Diogu pick over the past day and a half, but only as a potential reserve. The best part of this pick is that it means Mike Dunleavy sticks around for a little while longer, after playing well with Baron at the end of last season. Upon hearing the news, Dunleavy celebrated with a wine spritzer and curled up with a good book.

The second round brought two more picks for the Warriors, the first of which was Monta Ellis, the first (and presumably last) high school player ever taken by Golden State. ESPN rushed through this pick pretty quickly, but I did manage to catch three tidbits on Ellis: he averaged 38 points per game in high school, he's 6'3", and he weighs 79 pounds. His highlight film was a big grainy, but Ellis looks to be constructed from raw spaghetti noodles, and I can only assume that his knee problems came about when the chewing gum holding his leg together lost its stickiness.

The Warriors' final pick came at #42, where they selected Pittsburgh forward Chris Taft. I made a mistake earlier when I mentioned that Jay Bilas shook off Stuart Scott's betrayal on national television: instead of simply bringing out the spelling bee kid, Bilas apparently internalized all of his rage and channeled it onto Chris Taft. By the time Bilas was done listing Taft's shortcoming's, I was expecting a live feed showing Taft being sent to Gitmo. I think Bilas even found time to kick Taft's dog.

Taft supposedly has all the talent necessary to become a good player, but his lackluster attitude left a lot of team scared ("shook", according to Stuart Scott) to take him. Of course, Taft could have answered all these questions and more by simply coming out of the stands after Bilas' rant, WWF-style, to challenge Jay to a fight. Bilas would then have begged off, only to throw salt in Taft's eyes when he wasn't looking. At the very least, it would have been nice to hear Taft's music when Bilas was talking, just to see the expression on his face. But I've already listed a number of ways to make the draft better. In the end, the draft itself is just like the players it produces: lots of potential, but destined to disappoint.


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